To Smack or Not to Smack – Part 2

Referring to my article ‘To Smack or Not to Smack’ dated Friday 31 July, finally the results of the New Zealand referendum on the disciplinary smacking of children is known, and the overwhelming result from the people was a resounding No!

According to preliminary results, 54% of the population voted, and of those, nearly 90% voted ‘No’ to the government curbs on child discipline in the home.

According to OECD sources, New Zealand was the third worst country for child abuse and neglect in 2002 among the OECD Nations, and to address this, the government introduced the no-smacking law in 2007.

The referendum held this year has proved the law is unwelcome in New Zealand.

It is possible many New Zealander’s read my previous blog before voting, but I doubt it. I think it was more a case of sanity prevailing.

Experience in twenty-three countries that have previously imposed a ban on the most basic of child disciplinary measures, shows in the more affluent countries that we have lost all control over our children. The behaviour of children today is ample proof of the fact they do as they please, when they please.

My wife and I were visiting a friends house recently, and the wife of another friend was there with her child. The two and a half year old child was into everything. Opening drawers, removing the contents and dropping them on the floor, and an ice cream ended up more on the wall and floor than in his mouth.

I could see that our host was getting quite upset, but could not really say anything because the woman in question was his neighbour. At some point in the wanton destruction I could not help myself, and asked her point-blank if she had any control over her son. She just shrugged her shoulders, so I replied that perhaps it was time she started. Not long afterwards she left, so I guess my words hit home.

To have such an ill-disciplined child is one thing, but to allow it to run rampant in someone else’s house I find quite intolerable!

It is not the first time I have seen children behaving like this, and I am sure it will not be the last. One thing I do know, no child will ever behave like that in my home, and I don’t care if the parents are the King and Queen of Spain.

The case stated above is indicative of the general attitude of parents today, and their total lack of interest in bringing up their children in the correct manner. If questioned about it, all they can do is make excuses for their own failure.

The referendum in New Zealand is non-binding, which means in effect the government can continue doing what it wants.

Prime Minister John Key has already stated publicly that he will not change the existing law despite the overwhelming vote. He is however putting some proposals before the Cabinet next week, so everyone waits with bated breath.

It will be a shame, not only for democracy, but for the New Zealand people in general, if he ignores the referendum result.

Little does he realise, that he holds the future of his people in his hands. On the one hand he can uphold the law, and watch future generations devolve into little more than criminal anarchy, or he can repeal it, and thereby ensure future New Zealander’s retain a sense of discipline and respect for each other that is sadly lacking here.

To me there is no contest! The another alternative could be to bring back The Stocks (see photo).

Once, twice, thrice, smack!


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